Pilot in fiery plane crash pulled from wreckage by good samaritans before several explosions
PHOENIX (FOX 10) -- New details surrounding a small plane crash in North Phoenix Tuesday, along with the pilot who is lucky to be alive, are beginning to emerge Wednesday.
The pilot, identified as a 50-year-old, is in the Maricopa County Burn Unit with 2nd and 3rd-degree burns, after he was pulled from the wreckage by several good samaritans, just in nick of time. On Wednesday, a couple of the heroes who helped pull the pilot from the plane spoke about the ordeal.
The two young men, Michael Maschi and Frankie Leigar, attend motorcycle mechanics school just up the street, and they saw the smoke from the wreckage on Deer Valley Road. What they did next, is nothing short of amazing.
"It was like a movie with the fireball," said Maschi. "Huge explosion."
"Wasn't really worried about what was going on around me at that time. Just natural reaction," said Frankie Leigar.
Maschi and Leigar were on a smoke break when they saw thick black smoke fill the air. They rushed the scene, and with another man's help, pulled the pilot from the burning wreckage before several explosions.
"He had a severe gash on his head, and burns over most of his body. His hands peeled when we tried to help him," said Maschi.
"Didn't have the time," said Leigar. "If we would have waited, that man would've lost his life."
The pilot was the only person onboard the single-engine Mooney M-20. He was heading from Scottsdale to Carson City, Nevada when for some reason, he circled back toward Deer Valley Airport. He later crashed on Deer Valley Road.
"As severe as he was, that's not something that is too forgettable," said Leigar.
"Was just in go mode," said Maschi. "I was not worried. Saw the dude burning, had to get him out of there."
With the badly burned pilot in the ambulance, Frankie and Michael walked back to class, as there is always more to learn about the art of motorcycle maintenance. As for bravery, they've pretty much got that figured out.